Protecting Your Data: Cybersecurity Measures for Remote Workers

It might have once been a dream or a rare perk, but remote work is now the go-to option for many of us. It’s a welcome paradigm shift with unclear consequences. Two are already apparent – heightened worker satisfaction yet increased cybersecurity risks.

As a remote worker, what should you be doing to manage these risks? This article touches on the cybersecurity challenges arising from your new circumstances. It then offers practical information that will help you hone your cybersecurity skills and up your online safety.

What Are the Cybersecurity Risks of Working Remotely?

The explosion of remote work opportunities comes with a unique set of cybersecurity challenges. Companies guarantee a secure working environment anymore. Employees use different devices and log on from diverse networks. All of these are harder to standardize and track.

Moreover, some employees don’t pay as much attention to cybersecurity best practices while in a home or remote environment. That can include using company hardware to access non-sanctioned content or unwittingly giving up sensitive information through unsecured channels.

Unencrypted file sharing is another potential problem made worse by employees who work from public spaces. Even when employees are diligent, the introduction of services and tools outside a company’s direct control can lead to security breaches. SXSW speaker Hari Ravichandran was also a victim of a cyberattack in 2014, which led him to start Aura in 2017.

How Can You Protect Your Data?

Remote work comes with different risks. They’re nothing a responsible employee can’t foresee or manage, though. Here are some of the best practices and tools you should adopt to maintain a secure environment wherever you’re working from.

Educate yourself or attend company-sponsored cybersecurity training

Being aware of the most common security risks and ways to circumvent them puts you ahead of the curve. Responsible companies conduct security awareness training, but self-study is a viable alternative. Learning how to recognize & the most common techniques cyber criminals use to prey on their victims.

These include phishing scams and sophisticated attempts at social engineering. Recognizing that CEO’s letter for the scam it is will save you and your company a lot of frustration.

Handle your online presence responsibly

How you conduct yourself in a business capacity online is a reflection of your professionalism. Moreover, you can avoid many bad practices by following common sense and the policies your company sets.

If possible, ask for or purchase a computer, laptop, etc., you’ll use exclusively for work. Outfit it only with the programs & tools you need to do your job & the company approves of. This will help the IT team maintain system-wide security integrity while keeping you more productive. Also, ensure the operating system and any antivirus or antimalware programs are always up to date.

Only use sanctioned tools to communicate with fellow employees. These include company email, conferencing & messaging apps, cloud storage, etc. Keep any work-related discussions and files away from common channels.

Avoid doing work from publicly accessible networks

Public Wi-Fi is among the most severe & easily exploitable security risks. You can’t know who else is connected. Meanwhile, they can intercept and copy any data you expose while connecting to such a network.

It’s best to avoid connecting through public Wi-Fi altogether. Even your home router could pose a security risk. That’s why getting a VPN and securely connecting to company networks through one is advisable.

Strengthen your passwords

You need a password for all your productivity apps, email, and countless other accounts. Using only one password and managing all accounts on autopilot is tempting. It may be convenient for dozens of daily private & work-related logins, yet it can be devastating if someone figures just one password out.

A password manager is great for keeping on top of all your login details. It gives you one master password to worry about while replacing all others with long and complex strings. Password managers are convenient for storing other sensitive info as well. They may even provide two-factor authentication to bolster security further.

Encrypt and back up your files

Another way of strengthening your cyber defenses is to assume someone will steal your data eventually. Encrypting it beforehand will make it useless to the thieves and protect the valuable information within. Cloud storage services do this as a matter of course. They keep multiple copies of your files, so a copy is available even if one of their servers fails.

Take control of your online footprint

Regular and seemingly harmless online activities may have produced more information on you than you’re comfortable with. Crooks will use it as part of their targeted phishing and scam attempts. Additionally, data brokers can leverage it to profile you and sell that profile to third parties.

It’s possible but time-consuming and resource-intensive to fight this. That’s the point. Luckily, there’s been a boom in services that contact these brokers and ask them to take anything they have on you down automatically, removing your information from the internet. The peace of mind and reduction in scam attempts this purge can bring about is worth it.


Not being tied to a physical office for the workweek has had a profound positive impact on many. Complementing your newfound freedom with due respect for the dangers it presents will make working from home that much more enjoyable and safe.

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